2012 NFL Draft Grades: 7 General Managers That Set Their Franchises Back
The 2012 NFL draft is in the books and football fans are looking forward to the upcoming season.
In some final moments of reflection on this past draft, we must condemn the general managers that set back their franchises.
Though sometimes an owner or coach can be very influential in the war room, I'm focusing on just the general manager here.
Seven general managers set back their franchise in this draft and they are as follows.
Les Snead, St. Louis Rams
The Rams were unable to put together a very strong draft class, for each of their picks has a question mark associated with them.
Starting in the first round, St. Louis traded down after missing out on Justin Blackmon and the team was only able to come away with potential bust Michael Brockers.
After that, the team wasn't able to add a dynamic receiver (I can't see Brian Quick being a legitimate No. 1) and the Rams also took some big risks (like Janoris Jenkins) that may not pan out.
I don't love the St Louis Rams' draft.
John Schneider, Seattle Seahawks
Schneider, along with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, had a very below-average draft and I struggle seeing this team anywhere near the playoffs with this class.
Starting out with a massive reach in the first round with Bruce Irvin, the Seahawks just couldn't get going in the selection process and proceeded to make some more mistakes as the draft went on.
Seattle isn't a bad team otherwise and the team had a good offseason—signing Matt Flynn—but Schneider set them back a bit with this draft.
The Bruce Irvin pick did it for me.
Tom Heckert (and Mike Holmgren), Cleveland Browns
I added a photo of Mike Holmgren, not Browns GM Tom Heckert, because the final say in football decisions comes to Holmgren.
While many pundits tabbed the Browns for having had a good draft, I somewhat disagree.
With the short shelf life of running backs in the league, using a high pick on Trent Richardson (and trading up to get him) just wasn't smart. Neither was abandoning hope in Colt McCoy by drafting Brandon Weeden.
The team never got a wide receiver, either, and I don't know if I love this draft class for Cleveland.
Scott Pioli, Kansas City Chiefs
Dontari Poe's rise up draft boards wasn't warranted, and when the Chiefs spent the 11th pick on this combine warrior, I was shocked.
It's not like Scott Pioli to have a bad draft, but he grabbed a likely bust with Poe in the first round and failed to add any difference-makers later on.
The Chiefs had a number of needs on the roster, including linebacker, wide receiver and safety, but the team failed to address any of them.
Pioli had a good offseason overall, but I can't see this being a good draft class when all is said and done.
Buddy Nix, Buffalo Bills
This is where I may come under a lot of fire from fellow Bills fans, but I'm prepared for the heat.
The Bills needed a starting left tackle and a true No. 1 receiver, but failed to truly accomplish either goal.
In the first round, the team went with corner Stephon Gilmore, whom I can't see getting much time, and then passed on Jonathan Martin (a true left tackle) to take Cordy Glenn in the second round.
Finally, the T.J. Graham pick confused me a lot and I don't truly understand where Buffalo is going.
Brian Xanders, Denver Broncos
The team brought in a top-flight quarterback in Peyton Manning and failed to get him any receivers or running backs in the early rounds.
After trading out of the first round, the team passed on Jerel Worthy and drafted Derek Wolfe with their first of two second-round picks. The other second-rounder was spent on a quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Denver invested a lot of time and money into Peyton Manning, but made no effort to surround him with the pieces he'll need if he wants to win in 2012.
Xanders and John Elway did a poor job here.
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Jerry Jones didn't do a good job in this draft and, consequently, was unable to put his team in a good position for 2012.
The Cowboys believe that they are "one piece away" from a Super Bowl and traded up to grab Morris Claiborne.
The team invested a lot of money in Brandon Carr already and would have been better off keeping their second rounder and addressing other needs.
Dallas is now weak along the offensive line and has issues at defensive end and safety.
I'm not buying a playoff push for "America's Team" in 2012 after this draft.